Eagles Pull the Plug on Marcus Smith
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - With a substantive roster bonus due by Saturday and no defined role on the team, Marcus Smith figured to be an early roster casualty for the Eagles and that shoe dropped on Wednesday, the day veterans had to report to training camp in South Philadelphia.
Smith, of course, was a former first-round pick in 2014, and never lived up to his pedigree, managing just four sacks in 37 games with the team, never garnering significant playing time whether at outside linebacker during the Chip Kelly regime or at defensive end when Doug Pederson and Jim Schwartz brought the 4-3 defense back to Philadelphia.
Smith is a very good athlete but never developed a feel for the game during his three seasons with the Eagles. Once the team drafted Derek Barnett and the first round back in April and signed Chris Long in free agency, the numbers game was working against Smith.
He then skipped all the voluntary offseason work, a curious decision for a player on the roster bubble. Smith did show for June's mandatory minicamp but with a $594,000 bonus due by the weekend, the Eagles quickly cut ties.
To replace Smith on the 90-man roster, the Eagles re-signed middle linebacker Steven Daniels, who was with the team for part of the offseason.
Daniels will give Schwartz another body in the middle to work with as Jordan Hicks is brought along slowly due to the hand injury he suffered while on his honeymoon in Greece last month.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen